TGIF

Happy Friday All. Here’s to another Friday. I hope the week has been good to you. We’ve had illness, hurricane force winds and now freezing temps. We had snow on Wed morning. It didn’t stick and it was pretty. It’s supposed to be nice for the weekend and Halloween so that’s good. I like it when it’s nice for the kids. My brother is coming up tomorrow. We bought a beef and he’s coming to pick up his quarter. I’m not sure if golfing will be involved or not. I guess we’ll see how cold it gets on Saturday.

The only thing that’s gotten me down this week is facing the election next Tues. I feel sick about my town and our school. Sometimes I really wonder about people. If our school levy doesn’t pass this time, our school will close in 5 years which means that my granddaughter and grandson will have to go to a different school. Trinity just started trumpet and if she wants to continue to play, she’ll have to switch schools earlier rather than later or she won’t get to play. There won’t be band next year without this levy passing. There will only be the bare minimum until the closing. I’m not sure what this town is thinking. Every other town around us is dead. We have Kingston and South Haven and neither of them have a school and both of them are not what I’d even call a town. South Haven more so only because it has 2 bars, a restaurant, post office and a glorified mini mart/gas station. There may be a church or 2 in there but I’m not sure. The point is, there’s nothing there. Kingston had a mini mart but it died last year.

My nearest town Kimball, where the school is, is slowly dying and it really makes me sad. We moved here and bought this house 15 years ago because we loved the town and I think what makes me the saddest is the attitude of people who don’t have kids in school. They just think it doesn’t affect them but who do they think will pay for “our” kids to go somewhere else? Someone will have to pay for the re-zoning and busing as well as the additional cost of our kids having to travel to a neighboring town to go to school. Do people really think if they don’t vote to pass this that’s it’s going to be the cheapest thing for them? Everyone will be paying more and not less. And the “more” won’t be in their own town it will be spent on a neighboring town so “our” kids can use their school. In the case of Eden Valley Watkins and Annandale, this kind of a burden will mean they’ll need new high schools in the next few years so you’ll be paying towards a school not even in your own town.

It’s not a lot of money either. I’m not getting into that part but with a $150.000 home, your increase would be $88 a year. What you’d pay for a family to eat out at nice restaurant ONCE. It’s not even like it’s a lot of money. That’s what I really don’t get.

The other thing that bothers me is that I care this much. I didn’t go to Kimball and I don’t have kids in Kimball. But I care about the small town. I love it. The grocery store is already almost dead. There are a few churches, three bars, a bowling alley, a butcher shop and a few other places but it will all slowly die with no school. The library will close and slowly so will all the other business’s. Young people surely aren’t going to move to a nice small town where there is no school never mind the young people who have settled here because they grew up here and wanted the same small town life for their kids. How will they unload their houses. A lot of Sue’s friends have already discussed this issue. They won’t want to stay here with no school but how will they sell their house?

Trinity and Christopher already spend almost an hour on the bus now. I can’t even imagine them going to St. Cloud or any of the neighboring towns. Even if you have open enrollment for your kids, you still have to pay your towns property tax’s and they don’t ask you if you have kids or not. What it costs “extra” to send these kids somewhere else will be there and not “free” like some people think. Do you think all the other towns around us are going to say “gee, Kimball, you don’t want to pay for your kids to go to school, COME ON OVER AND USE OURS.” I don’t see that happening and I wish someone would make sense of this to these people.

I won’t even begin to tell you what I’d have been doing if Jason and Toby went to this school. I’d be fighting really hard and not just sitting here feeling bad because I believe the school is such an important part of a town’s life. It keeps everyone close. There won’t be the activities in the gym like volleyball and business expo’s in the building and no pancake breakfasts. It will cost too much money to open these schools for “one time only” deals. Just what does the town expect to do with these 2 buildings?

It also really bothers me is that this is getting almost no attention. Read what this woman wrote. I never saw this letter. I never got phone calls asking me to vote yes or to attend meetings. Every person in the school district was supposed to get the newspaper that outlined all of this but I didn’t get one and neither did my hair stylist. She’s also just sick over this. I guess if the people who’ve grown up here and wanted to raise their kids here don’t care, why should I? My hair stylist believes like the woman who wrote that letter. She thinks people see the school opening and closing each year and they don’t think “they mean it” and when they realize the school will close “for real,” it’s going to be too late.

I can’t leave it like that and say I don’t care because I do. I care about the town. I love small towns and I hate to see them die like this with all the young people leaving and old people shriveling up and dying.

When I go to the school for something, I always go to the butcher shop and stop at the store and do a few other things but without the school, I’ll go to Annandale.

I’m so sorry. I wasn’t going to write about that but it’s been really bothering me and it just came out.

How was your week and what do you have planned for the weekend.


This entry was posted in childhood, children, choices, education, kids, memories, people, school, school levy, small towns, things, Uncategorized, voting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to TGIF

  1. Laura says:

    Oh, does this post hit a bevy of hot buttons for me!!! We have a similar problem in our town. Too many people with the attitude, “not my kid”, or “I don’t have kids in the school system anymore”, or “I’m a senior citizen. I shouldn’t have to pay”. Well, hell’s bells, folks, then I shouldn’t have to contribute to your Social Security!! AARGH!!

    Ok, deep breath.

    Here’s our situation: We have a high school that is, literally, falling down around the students. They have had “temporary” classrooms for close to ten years now. One of them serves as the Science Lab. Only one tiny problem – there’s no RUNNING WATER. So the kids, before going to Lab, each fill a bucket with water and carry it across the field to the ‘classroom’ where it will be used for whatever they’re doing. If they are using fire (bunsen burners and the like), they will bring two buckets – one for lab use, one for fire-putter-outers. Can you believe this? Year after year, we have a question on the ballot: will you fund a new high school? And year after year, the answer is always the same: NO.

    Why? Because people remember years ago, when the school board, on the advice of the state (which was considering consolidating several school districts into one), proposed a MASSIVE high school, which included a theatre/auditorium, at least one gymnasium (maybe two), a swimming pool, separate rooms for band and choir, and a bunch of other amenities. It was a massive thing, and WAY over the top. But it was also being built to accommodate not just our little town and neighbors, it was being built to accommodate the entire county. And on top of that, apparently the board at that time got a “deal” on a piece of land and just jumped on it and bought it. Well, people didn’t like that, so from that moment on, they’ve voted “no”.

    “Why can’t they just upgrade?” So the board did an upgrade assessment – all new lockers are needed. New boiler room & equipment (new furnace, new hot water equipment, there is no air conditioning anywhere in the school), new wiring throughout (this wiring is left over from the THIRTIES, people!), new lighting, new sprinkler system – see, right now, a lot of this stuff is ‘grandfathered in’ – once they start making improvements, they’ll have to improve ALL THE WAY, which means bringing everything up to code. It would be far more expensive to “upgrade” than it would be to simply build a new school.

    So now, we have this piece of land, and the town will not vote to build a new high school. The “No” contingent even went so far as to bring in a “political consultant” named Paul Dorr, to make sure that the measure failed… and left our community torn in half in his wake. There is still strife over this. What that man does is simply unbelievable. I have nothing good to say about him, so I will say nothing.

    The kicker in all of this? It took one vote – a single ballot measure, put to the public one time – to raise something like $3m to build a new…

    JAIL.

    It’s done. It passed last summer, and they finished it this past spring. Shows you where people’s priorities are, doesn’t it? They’ll fight the school tooth and nail, but they’ll build you a new jail in the blink of an eye.

    • Joy says:

      I don’t have the paper in front of me because I didn’t get it so I read it somewhere else really quickly but the $88 a year property tax increase is the cheapest option. The highest is $249. People think if the school isn’t there they don’t have to pay. How can anyone think that? So it’s the cheapest option is to pass the levy than not.

      • Laura says:

        Honestly, even $250 a year… A YEAR… isn’t that much. That’s what, $20 a month? 1 dinner per month at McDonald’s for a family of three. Honestly, I get SO MAD, sometimes, at these school boards, because the “NO” people always seem so organized, and the members of the Board don’t seem to have a clue.

        As much trouble as it might get me into, I really believe that school boards shouldn’t be made of parents, but of business people recruited from the community – accountants, business owners, etc.. People who (1) know how to manage money and people, and (2) know how to get their message out – who know how to use public media (newspaper, radio, tv) to move public opinion in their direction. I think that’s half the problem. The ‘No’s’ have that. The school just sits there and figures, “everyone should want to do this because it’s the right thing to do”, or “we’re not going to get involved in a dirty campaign, we’re above that”. (both of these sentiments were expressed in our town.)

        No. You HAVE to get “down and dirty”. SHOW people exactly what it’s going to cost (1 fast-food dinner/month), and what they’ll lose. And if they vote no? MAKE THEM LOSE IT. The kids are not going to “suffer” for one stinking year. Yeah, they’ll be disappointed without band for a year (and this is coming from a Band Geek), but it just might get their band back for the next 20, if the Board makes good on their threats.

        Oh, I could go on for hours on this.

  2. Laura says:

    Oh, yeah… this weekend? Tomorrow I have to finish Josh’s costume (anyone know how to make Jedi boots???), and then in the afternoon is our town’s Halloween Party, where they shut down part of First Avenue, and all the store-owners come out and hand out candy to the kids. The radio station sets up and provides music, there’s a costume contest, and it just turns into a big street party. EVERYONE shows up, and it’s a great time.

    Saturday, we’re thinking of going with a friend to a “local” pumkin patch, which is in Monticello – so it’s not really that “local”, but it’s free so that makes up for the drive. And then Sunday is Halloween. Trick-or-treating doesn’t start until 5, and the Bears have a bye, so I’m not sure what we’ll do during the day, but we’ll think of something. Probably get sick on all the candy Josh gets tomorrow!

  3. Jenny says:

    Wow Joy! That was a good vent. It is sad that Kimball will probably close. Jason & I decided that we’re going to be sending Hunter to Dassel Cokato school when that time comes. He will have to catch the bus in Kingston that’s all. But if the school does end up closing, the bus routes will be extended out and yes the kids will be stuck on the buses for a long time! It’s a tough situation and I hope it doesn’t come to that.

    We just carved a pumpkin tonight. I carved a haunted house and Jason helped with the scary bat. It was alot of fun. That was my first time carving a pumpkin. Hunter had fun scraping all the guts out. He did that pretty much the whole time. He’s excited for Halloween. He’s been practicing saying Trick or Treat. And doing a scary laugh..lol
    Well everyone have a good HALLOWEEN!! Don’t eat too much candy

    • Joy says:

      I think open enrollment is fine Jenny and I have nothing against it in any way. I thought about it once with Jason. But in addition to the extra it will cost Hunter to go to DC, your property taxes will still be applied in Kimball so it’s in your best interest to go Vote yes. You still have to pay your Kimball tax’s no matter where Hunter goes to school because you live in the Kimball school district.

    • Sue says:

      Jenny, do you want to bring Hunter to Annandale and Trick or Treat with us this afternoon?? It’s from 3-5pm, usually takes about an hour and I’m getting the kids right after school and heading over. Hunter may find it fun!

  4. Just a Mom says:

    It amazes me how people think when it comes to taxes. Let’s spend millions of dollars on new stadiums and ball parks but god forbid if we have our taxes raised for education! It blows my mind.
    This weekend we will be busy, busy! Friday, my youngest daughter’s school has their Halloween party and her class is in charge of the Haunted House! It’s the biggest thing the 6th graders get to do all year. I think they did a good job putting it together. Then Friday night I get to take my oldest daughter to her 1st day of paying work! She is mad because she won’t get to go to her school’s football game. I told her, “Welcome to the real world!” But of course it’s all my fault because I made her get a job! Saturday she gets to work again! Sunday we have a Girl Scout Halloween Party for my youngest daughter and then of course we will have Halloween things that night!

  5. SKL says:

    That’s a bummer about the school levy. It is hard because there is not a lot of trust when it comes to the schools and spending more tax money. I hate the thought of kids on buses for hours each day. But maybe it won’t be so bad. In my parents’ county, around the time we moved there, they had this issue in a nearby small town. They ended up closing the school and busing the kids to our town. But on the positive side, the kids had access to a lot more materials, electives, and services than they had in the smaller town. There was less duplication, so there was actually a cost saving. Granted, the busing distance was not very far, so the main burden was that kids could no longer walk to school. But that didn’t stop people from being very unhappy. They do still use the school for community stuff, e.g., folks use the gym, and they have parties in what used to be the lunchroom. It’s kinda run down but nostalgic.

    It seems a bit odd that when it comes to education, local elections decide whether or not kids are going to get their needs met. Yet school is compulsory. Why should a person have to go to a school that doesn’t meet his needs anyway? In my state, the method of funding education out of local property taxes was found unconstitutional. That was at least a decade ago, and they were supposed to come up with a better method, but to my knowledge, they are still doing it the same old way.

  6. SKL says:

    Not really sure how my weekend is shaping up. We aren’t doing our usual Friday night dinner with the aunties, so I was wondering if I should buy tickets to Boo at the Zoo. It’s kind of expensive, plus they don’t have the spooky train running. If it’s cold / wet tomorrow, that will decide it for me. If the weather is nice, I will check to see if they have tickets. Otherwise we’ll probably just break our usual Saturday shopping into 2 shorter days. It would be nice to get back in time to ensure a good night’s sleep, since our Saturdays and Sundays start earlier than other days. On Sunday (after church and work) we will do Halloween and a birthday dinner. Maybe we should do lunch instead of dinner – I might suggest that.

    This week was a busy and fun week for the girls. Two field trips, “spirit days” at school, museum, swimming, therapy, etc. Tomorrow (Friday) is their Halloween party, including trick-or-treat, costumes, etc. I’ve been mentioning behavior issues a lot lately, but this past week wasn’t too bad (knock on wood). Miss A is on a short fuse, though. I suspect that her sister is not letting her sleep through the night. Or maybe she’s picking up a bug – they have strep throat going around the school again. Anyhoo, we’re trending better despite some moments of baditude.

    Yesterday the girls’ music teacher emailed some sound bites of their musical progress. Part of it was torture, I must say. However, they are learning, and it’s only been a month, so surely things can only get better. I have to say that it is cute to hear their recorded voices. They sound like sweet little babies, LOL.

    I’m getting caught up on some work but have to start on a new category of projects which I frankly think are BS. Not much else to say about that.

    Today was my parents’ 49th anniversary. How cool is that? I called my mom and we talked about the election for an hour, LOL. Luckily we are both on the same side of that issue. In other news, my friend’s 50th birthday is around the corner. We should probably do something special for her, but we are so old and crotchety that we hardly know how to have fun any more. Someone suggested a cruise, but 4 of us will have to get passports first, including my kids, who need some immigration documents to get done first . . . so . . . .

    Working on scheduling my kids’ 4th and last “post-placement visit” from the adoption social worker. They have been home 3+ years and are still alive and kicking. Do I get a prize?

    Oh well, I hope everyone has a fun weekend and a fun week next week. Don’t forget to vote!

  7. Nikki says:

    Oh wow. I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know it was this bad. I knew about the cutting programs, and such. had NO idea the entire school was being threatened to be closed down. That is sad. I’d be irate! If Bailey had to go to another school over people not wanting to pay $88 a year, I’m not sure what I’d do. I do know that Jason would be the first one to stand up to the city counsel (or whoever handles these things) He’s better at that stuff than me. We surly wouldn’t stand back and watch it happen. What’s not to love about a small town? And what’s a small town without a school??? No one, especially with kids, or planning a family will move there. IF, and I really hope it doesn’t come to this, if it closes, the town will slowly become a ghost town. And that is very sad. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you all. Maybe you said it, but now I’m too lazy to go back and look but when is the election?

    • Joy says:

      It’s Tues Nikki. I’m beginning to wonder how many people actually care. Maybe I should forget about it. When it comes down to it, I do much more in Annandale anyway. I just hate to see these towns die. Like you said, what’s not to love about a small town?

    • Sue says:

      The school board is the one to talk to and they have had a few people come to meetings about it. The last meeting they had, about 60 people showed up with questions and concerns. Those results were in the Kimball paper that not everyone got 😦 Anyway, there was a committee formed to raise awareness about the levy and the impacts, but they had a very small budget and did the best they could. One committee member has said they are ready to move right now b/c they can’t believe how little support their is for our kids.

  8. Sue says:

    Well, this all irks me! What really irks me is to find out that the paper that had ALL the info in it and was suppose to go out to everyone, did not! I have a few friends that are/were on the committee to raise awareness for the levy and it’s amazing what they’ve gone through trying to help. From getting yelled at to being harassed, they’ve seen it all. I told one friend that it doesn’t seem to be very well publicized (other than the little ad in the paper about the school board meeting) and her response was, “there’s not money to run the school so we can’t be spending tons of money on advertising, flyers, handouts, ect. There’s no room in the budget for extras like that.” Well, I hadn’t thought of that, but how are we suppose to save our school if no one has the correct information?

    I could go on and on, but I won’t. From what I’ve heard while being in town, most people have made up their minds. Please please please vote on Tuesday Because Our Kids Matter!

    As for this weekend, it seems I will be doing a lot of running. This afternoon is the Trick or Treat in Annandale at the businesses so I’m picking the kids up after school and heading over there. After supper we will attempt to carve pumpkins. I say attempt for 2 reasons! First, they’re HUGE! I don’t know if I have a knife big enough so we may have to break out the Sawzall! Second, it froze pretty hard last night and although they were covered, I’m not sure they’ll be any good. Cross your fingers! Tomorrow Christopher has a b-day costume party and we bowl tomorrow night. Our costumes are ready and Toby is pretty excited! Sunday Trinity has religion, a Halloween party, the Vikings play, and then it’s Trick or Treating!!! Hopefully we don’t freeze to death 🙂

    • Joy says:

      What school are you leaning towards if this happens and will you move them next year. You won’t wait and let Trin go with no band will you?

      Linda also told me she had a sign in her yard last year and had to take it down. Either from the haters or the lovers, it turned every haircut into a debate. Good or bad that’s all she heard. She says this is young people as well as the older ones. Young people don’t really think about it and tend to go with the flow and the older people don’t think it’ll really happen. But she knows like we do that in the end it’s going to cost all Kimball taxpayers more money to move the kids.

      Think of all the lost jobs 😦

    • Nikki says:

      I don’t think I will ever buy pumpkins at a pumpkin patch again. We got two good size ones and payed almost $30. That’s insane. I brought ours inside, so hopefully they’ll be okay to carve.

      • Sue says:

        You should have come out and picked a couple from us!

        • Nikki says:

          It was never offered, so I figured maybe you didn’t have many. It’s not a big deal, but I can get them at Walmart for around $3. The pumpkin patch is fun, and we’ll always go but not for pumpkins!

        • Jenny says:

          Sue get your big knife ready for your pumpkins!! We carved 1 of ours lastnight, the one we got from you and the top was about 4 inches thick! It took forever trying to get through. We got back sooner than we thought from St. Cloud and Hunter’s napping right now. Otherwise I’m sure he would’ve loved trick or treating with Trin & Christopher!

  9. SKL says:

    I think that what schools need to do is fix the trust problem. Maybe give voters some facts about what their budget involves and what they have tried and why it isn’t working. Not politically charged but shallow buzz words. Stop treating voters as if they were idiots.

    And like Laura said, follow through on the threats if you really mean them. In our area, we would be threatened every year that if we didn’t pass the levy, we’d lose this and that and the other thing. Never happened. Nobody believes it. Then when a levy finally passes, the first thing they do is refurbish the teachers’ lounge. They don’t seem to understand that people want the sacrifice to go both ways.

    I know in our area, if a levy passes, they add another on the next year regardless. (And our levies are always for a lot more money.) So while one levy may not seem like a big cost per family, cumulatively, it’s a lot. (And we also have separate levies for the library, various social services, etc. And don’t get me started on the amount of fees, etc. that parents have to pay for their kids to attend the public school. Or the fact that there’s no break for those who send their kids to non-public schools.) My property taxes go up at least $100 to $200 every year. They never go down. It gets old after a while. Obviously this is my county and yours might be a lot different.

  10. Sue says:

    For those we want to read about it, here’s the website about the levy.

    http://www.kimball.k12.mn.us/District/LevyInfo2010.pdf

  11. Nikki says:

    What are our plans for the weekend? Well this evening, my mom is coming over to carve pumpkins with Bailey and Emily. I have beef stew in the slow cooker, and Emily and I will make a Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake later on this afternoon. I have Emily, my niece, she’s 4, all day today and tomorrow. It’s our weekend to have her and my brother works so I get her. 🙂 I love my alone time with her! Alone as in, without her father around. She’s such a stinker when he’s around, but a perfect angel when he isn’t.

    Saturday, we don’t have any real plans. Whatever we feel like doing. Sunday is Halloween, we are meeting friends for pizza, then we’ll all going trick or treating. Bailey and his friend will both be Twins players, but Bailey will have his face painted scary. It’ll be a lot of fun. I am NOT looking forward to all the candy, it is my biggest weakness. I have zero self control when it comes to candy. I may send some to work with Jason.

    That’s it for us, for the weekend. Hope everyone else has a good weekend.

  12. starlaschat says:

    Good Post Joy! What an important subject schools. I am shocked at what is happening to our schools. With Navar now teaching I have been getting a closer look. I say shout it from the roof tops it’s such an important subject. It is sad to see the small towns dieing. So much has been effected by this rotton economy this is the one area that needs to be held up and protected. Maybe I’ll write more later I think I’m worn out from the week. Looking forward to the weekend.

  13. Nikki says:

    Does this sound weird to anyone??? My son and his class take a bus to the middle school for swimming once a week during the winter. The PE teacher told the boys they had to wear underwear under neither their swim trucks. They are already lined with underwear! And this also brings me to the girls…do they have to? No. Wth???

    • SKL says:

      I agree with you – WTH? I think I would refuse and dare them to check how many layers are covering my kid’s privates.

      However, that is awesome that they get to go swimming for PE.

    • Joy says:

      I don’t get it. Why would they have to wear them under their suits if they’re lined? So then they have to bring another pair and take the wet ones home?????

      • Nikki says:

        I didn’t send a pair. I did just that SKL, and I’d love for them to question as to why I refuse to.

        Yes, they would be soaking wet sitting in his locker all day. Gross! And not only that, but Bailey wears boxer briefs. But what if he wore regular boxers? Just imagine how uncomfortable that would be?

        IDK, it all seems a little silly to me. I won’t buy into it!

      • Joy says:

        That makes NO sense. As long as the suits are lined and clean, that’s a nuisance.

  14. kweenmama says:

    I’m like you, Joy. I hate to see small towns die. We don’t live in a small town (there are 2800 kids in the high school), but I did live in one for three years once (8,000 residents). The local activities were so fun! It will be sad if the towns around you lose that. I hope the levy passes!

  15. I see I’m a bit late to the issue… But wow. Ouch. It’s so sad, to see a town dwindle like this. The ironic thing is that this will all go in a circle! In twenty years, if the town isn’t doing well, the value of the houses will go down and young newlyweds will move in because they want to have a house and not an apartment and they can only afford it there… They’ll have kids, and the town will slowly revive itself and a movement to get a school going will start up and eventually the nice town will be nice again before it all goes downhill again!

    I hope you can unburden your thoughts and relax this weekend, Joy! And everyone else too, of course :).

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